PhD Defence: Christoph Schild

Christoph Schild defends his PhD Thesis:

'Predicting (monetarily incentivized) dishonesty'.

Time and place:

Wednesday 4 March, 2020 at 13:00.

CSS 2.0.24, Øster Farimagsgade 5, 1353 Copenhagen K.

Please note that the defence will start precisely at the announced time.

Assessment Committee:

  • Professor Robert Böhm (chairperson), Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen.

  • Professor Anna Dreber Almenberg, Stockholm School of Economics.

  • Associate professor Stefan Pfattheicher, Aarhus University.


Monetarily incentivized dishonesty, such as scams, corruption, and tax evasion, poses a severe threat to individuals and societies at large. Given this, researchers from different disciplines have aimed to investigate and understand the driving forces behind monetarily incentivized dishonesty in order to guide effective policymaking. Continuing this stream of research, the current thesis provides an overview of the current state of research on this topic and further incorporates the findings of four studies that aimed to address potential shortcomings of prior investigations. Specifically, it was tested (1) how well laboratory measures of dishonesty relate to real-world social questionable behavior (overall N = 5,183), (2) how different situation factors shape the occurrence of dishonesty (overall N = 5,039), (3) whether collective punishment and collective reward can be powerful mechanisms to tackle dishonesty (overall N = 5,175), and (4) whether specific person factors do interact with a situation factor in predicting dishonesty (overall N  = 5,297). The findings suggest that laboratory measures of dishonesty are indeed valid indicators of real-world dishonesty. Further, some (situation and person) factors can be linked to dishonesty in well-powered and pre-registered studies, whereas support for other factors, which have been suggested to reduce dishonesty, is more inconsistent or even absent. The findings are critically discussed, and implications for policymaking are made.

Prior to the defence, a copy of the dissertation will be available at the Library of Faculty of Social Sciences, Gothersgade 140, Copenhagen K.